The 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States will be commemorated next week throughout the region, where several local events are happening to mark the date this year and honor the victims.
The September 11 attacks occurred when 19 al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four passenger airplanes, crashing two of the jets into the North and South towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and crashing a third airplane into the Pentagon in Virginia.
A fourth hijacked jet crashed into a field in Pennsylvania after the passengers tried to take control of the plane from the hijackers.
Nearly 3,000 people were killed.
Here is a roundup of some local happenings:
Public Ceremony at the Temecula Duck Pond:
Temecula will mark the anniversary on 9/11 with its annual remembrance ceremony at the Temecula Duck Pond on Ynez at Rancho California Road from 5:30-7:30 p.m. This yearly event draws more than 400-500 people. The Temecula Valley Young Marines will make a flag presentation, the Spirit of Great Oak Band Marching Band and Jazz Ensemble will perform, citizens can write a message in a keepsake journal and refreshments will be served. Speakers at the event will include city officials such as the mayor and city manager. The hosts will light a candle and ask for a moment of silence at 7:15 p.m.
VFW Motorcycle Ride:
Also in Temecula, on Saturday Sept. 8, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Motorcycle Club, Inland Empire Chapter, is hosting a 9/11 Memorial Poker Run. Registration for the motorcycle ride is from 8 to 10:30 a.m. at the VFW Post 4089, 8075 Diaz Road in Temecula. The ride starts there and ends at VFW Post 2266 in San Jacinto, where riders can enjoy a celebration featuring live music, food and raffles. The 9/11 Memorial Poker Run will benefit the VFW. Motorcycle enthusiasts are encouraged to join the ride. The cost is $20 for a single rider and $30 to ride with a passenger.
Free Concert in Palm Desert:
The Palm Desert Sister Cities Foundation will hold its annual Sept. 11 free concert for the public at the Palm Desert Civic Center Park at 7:30 p.m. on 9/11. “The free concert provides an opportunity to celebrate universal humanity through music. It is also a chance to honor the courage of those who gave their life on September 11, 2001 and the dedication of all those who have served and sacrificed in the years since,” according to the foundation. For more information, visit www.palmdesertsistercities.com or call 760-333-4629.
Memorial Run in Murrieta:
Members of the Murrieta Police and Fire departments will once again participate in their annual four-mile 9/11 Memorial Run in Murrieta. The run is held simply so police officers and firefighters can privately mark the event and honor the victims. About 25 to 50 people typically participate.
Herk Bouris Elementary School in Menifee:
Veterans on motorcycles will visit the campus of the newest school in Menifee on 9/11 and present a POW/MIA flag to the school. “They’ve done this at each of our schools so it’s nice they can come out again,” said district spokeswoman Betti Cadmus.
Schools in the Lake Elsinore Unified School District planned special events for students and special guests:
Donald Graham Elementary in Wildomar:
The school is hosting an assembly at 9 a.m. on 9/11. Police officers, firefighters and military service family members are invited to attend the ceremony at which students will give gifts. Parents and guests are invited to stay afterward for coffee and refreshments.
Elsinore Middle School in Lake Elsinore:
EMS will hold a special flag salute and ceremony featuring speeches from students beginning about 10:50 a.m. on 9/11. Student government members will lead a flag salute and ceremony for the school.
William Collier Elementary in Wildomar: The school is having a special flag ceremony set tentatively to begin at 9 a.m. on 9/11.
Amy Bentley is a local writer and regular contributor to SWRNN.